Regular readers may remember that I have been trying CBD oil for its supposed benefits for inflammation relief. In a previous post, I mentioned that a Medscape article discussed high-dose treatment for autoimmune disorders of 150 mg-600 mg per day. Since then, I have upped my dosage to 50-70 mg/day, but have continued to see little benefit beyond sleep and relaxation. Unfortunately, due to government restrictions on marijuana, there are very few studies available.
Recently, a study was published by the Lautenberg Center for General and Tumor Immunology in Jerusalem, which “examines the effectiveness of administering isolated cannabinoid extracts (a CBD-only formula) versus whole plant extracts (which contain the full range of the plant’s cannabinoid content).” It is important to note that this study was conducted with mice, rather than humans, so the results may not be accurate for human subjects. A summary article noted the following:
The data graphs below compare isolated cannabidiol (CBD) against a full-spectrum cannabis extract (from a CBD-rich strain). In all of the tests, the isolated CBD was ineffective both before and after a certain dosage, while the effectiveness of the full-spectrum solution continued to increase as higher doses were administered. The results all indicate that CBD is only effective against swelling and pain at a certain dose, and that cannabis solutions containing a full range of cannabinoids will continue to provide corresponding effects as the dosage is increased.
Oral Consumption: When the CBD and the full-spectrum extract where administered orally, the results were extremely similar to the injection test. Graph (c) shows CBD peaking at 25 mg/kg, and then losing any additional efficacy as the dose was increased. The whole plant extract provided more relief for inflammation and pain sensation as the dose was increased. It is important for the effects of the medication to reflect the dosage, as every patient is different and will require unique treatment based on aspects like tolerance.
The overall focus of the study was on the use of CBD concentrates vs. full-spectrum CBD products containing other cannabinoids. This is interesting information, as full-spectrum products are typically more expensive, but are marketed as being more effective. This study seems to support that position.
More interesting to me, however, were the comparisons of different doses of CBD used. It is important to note that this study was conducted with mice, rather than humans, so the results may not be accurate for human subjects. Nonetheless, it is clear that reductions in the swelling of the animals paws were greater with higher doses of CBD, up to about 25mg/kg.
For a human at 60kg (132 lbs), that ratio would require a dose of 1500 mg. At the cheapest price I have seen of 5 cents/mg of CBD, that treatment schedule would cost $75 per dose. For humans, the ratio adjusts to about 2 mg/kg. A human at 60kg (132 lbs), would require a dose of roughly 120 mg. At the cheapest price I have seen of 5 cents/mg of CBD, that treatment schedule would cost $6 per dose, or $180/month. For comparison, a 600 mg dose of generic ibuprofen costs less than 50 cents. As no government or insurance company currently covers CBD products, that presents a somewhat high cost for the average patient. Economies of scale and changing regulations should bring that cost down, but for now, it represents a significant cost.
Based on my own experience and this study, it seems like CBD is not a realistic anti-inflamatory for Sjogren’s Syndrome patients at the present time due to the required high cost. However, those who suffer from sleep or anxiety issues may find it to be useful at lower doses.
It has been pointed out to me that I incorrectly listed dose conversion, not accounting for rat metabolism. I have since reviewed a paper on dose conversions, and have updated the text above accordingly. I have previously noted that I’m not a medical doctor, but do my best to strive for accuracy. I will also remind my readers that comments that are hostile or rude in tone will not be approved.